Ground Hopping: Ground Hoping? When Saturday (Never) Comes 22nd December 2012

So, the Saturday before Christmas? Its traditionally a day of low attendances at football matches as husbands/ boyfriends either get dragged round the shops by She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO) to help with the Christmas consumer orgy preparations or they are panicking and trying to find a present from SWMBO to convince her they have not just bought it on Christmas Eve from the 24 hour petrol station.

Fortunately in my case, SWMBO decreed that I get in the way and make the house more untidy when I am around. So, she readily agreed I should collect my son Tom from the railway station and take him with me to see Spennymoor v Ashington in the Ebac Northern League 1pm kick off. This would be a chance for Spennymoor to get back to winning ways after Wednesday’s draw against Darlington. Being such a great bloke, I even went to collect the turkey first thing this morning. Having a cold (who said frigid?) bird in the car is a memory of my youth.

Anyway, returning home with the turkey, Tom texted me to say the game was off. SWMBO suggested I found another game to go to and keep us out of the house. RESULT Open-mouthed smile

A quick look at the fixtures – Whitley Bay v Bishop isn’t too far away. Check on Twitter – that’s off. No problems, Bedlington are at home – check Twitter that’s off. Ok, Shildon game – no, that’s off – they’ve probably got that lake again like earlier in the season.


No worries, we can go to Darlington and see what they are like against someone other than Spennymoor. Watching them in the rain seems to bring back memories.

Just as I neared Durham Station to pick Tom us, the news came though that Darlington had been postponed. So we sat in the car park at Durham station checking the fixture list on Non League Zone for possible games. Crook Town v West Allotment Celtic was showing as being on. Apparently they were confident of the game being on, so off we headed towards Crook, taking a detour to bishop to get a Christmas present or two for relatives. By the time we left Bishop Auckland, we were left with Whickham v Ryton or Durham City v Newcastle Benfield to go to. Durham was the safe bet as it was on the artificial pitch, but as I was there the other week, I decided instead to head to Whickham as I had never been there before.

We drove past Durham City’s ground and had got as far as Washington Service Station on the A1M and only 5 or less miles from Whickham when news came through that game was now off. So, it left the decision do we turn round & head for Durham in the rain or not. I’m afraid food & warmth won the day instead and we ended u feeding our faces in Gateshead and following the few football games that were on nationally on twitter.

We could of course have How ties have changes, 20 years ago, I’d have done anything to get to a Newcastle game. Now, even a free ticket could not persuade me to go. /an acquaintance who did go to SJP left after 30 minutes and is to adamant that the £0 he paid for his ticket was too much.

I can’t recall a Saturday when so many games were called off because of Waterlogged pitches. I certainly have never made as many futile efforts to find a game that is still on. The joys of the British Weather eh? Especially on the first day after the winter solstice as the summer is getting closer and days are lengthening.